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What is Military Law?

While the justice system that governs civilian law and military law is the same, there are major differences outlined by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) that military members must abide by. The UCJM has different standards than civilian law and therefore requires an experienced attorney to represent the individual charges with a violation.

5 Major Differences between Civilian and Military Law

Military law has certain differences and considerations that your attorney must be familiar with to effectively handle your case. The main differences between the two forms of law include:

  • Uniform Code of Military Justice: The UCMJ outlines the laws and punishments military members face. Aspects of the UCMJ may overlap with civilian laws.
  • Courts-martial: Military law takes place in military courts and handles military misconduct and other violations of UCMJ.
  • Judge advocates: Judge advocates are members of the military that are assigned as the prosecuting or defending council. You may also hire a civilian attorney.
  • Appeals: The appeals process follows a different path than civilian appeals courts, working through the specific branch of the military involved.
  • Special training for military attorneys: Military law and the code it follows requires specialized training for legal attorneys handling these cases.

Depending on the violation, military and civilian courts will coordinate to decide which venue should try the case. A crime may be tried twice, in military and state court, but it cannot be tried in military and another federal court.

Contact a Military Defense Lawyer in Houston

As a former prosecutor for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, Kyle Sampson is familiar with the legal strategies prosecutors will likely build, and, thereby, how best to defend against it. If you are a military member charged with a crime being tried in military or civilian courts, contact Kyle Sampson, Attorney at Law, by calling (713) 337-1420 for more information.


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